Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs

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Random House Publishing Group, Apr 27, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 448 pages
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We take our medicines on faith. We assume our doctors are well-informed, our drug companies scrupulous, our FDA diligent—and our medications safe. All too often we're wrong. Just how wrong is documented in this critically acclaimed portrait of the international pharmaceutical industry by one of our most highly respected investigative journalists.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in America. Reactions to prescription and over-the-counter medications kill far more people annually than all illegal drug use combined.

Stephen Fried's wife took a pill for a minor infection—and ended up in the emergency room. Some drug reactions go away in a few hours or days. Diane's did not. This emotionally wrenching experience launched Fried into a five-year examination of the entire pharmaceutical industry, the most profitable legal business in the world. Rigorously documented, Bitter Pills is a full-scale portrait of pill making and pill taking in America today, presented through the powerful human drama of doctors, patients, drug companies, the FDA, and government regulators as they war for control of our medicine cabinets.


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Contents

Prologue PART ONE CHAPTER 1 All Floxed Up
13
Less Than One Percent
33
Medwatchers
56
Nobody Reads the Label Anyway
80
The Ray and Dave Show
97
Pharm tw
109
PART TWO CHAPTER 7 Nitpicking
125
The Summer of Drugs
140
Generation Rx
207
Detail Men
223
Countries unto Themselves
242
Nice to Know
261
7 Facing Up to RetinA
282
SelfMedication
295
Spin Control 31
330
The Race to the Cocktail
347

Psychopharm
151
The Temafloxacin Syndrome
170
Table 7
184
What If Things Go South?
193
Checkered Flag
364
Epilogue
378
Acknowledgments
419
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Stephen Fried is a Senior Writer at "Philadelphia Magazine." His work has also appeared in "Vanity Fair, GQ, " and the "Washington Post Magazine." A winner of a 1993 National Magazine Award, the Distinguished Service Award for Magazine Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Clarion Award from Women in Communications, he lives in Philadelphia with his wife Diane Ayres, a fiction writer.

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